I was born and raised in Milwaukee, left for college, pursued a successful 40-year career in the 3 m’s- management, marketing and merchandising while living in Chicago and Toronto.
Little did I know that this creatively rich profession would prepare me for my unrealized passion to assist the elderly to enjoy this time in their lives.
I returned to Milwaukee in 2013 when I thought that my 91 year old mother should no longer live alone. There was no question as to whether I should make a major change in my life to assist her. My strong Jewish faith compelled me to “ kibud av va-eim”, honor my parents.
My return to Milwaukee gave my mother the opportunity to age in place while I worked part-time. A volunteer program sponsored by Congregation Shalom, connected me with the Sarah Chudnow Ovations community for Christmas, but it resulted in my part-time employment there for 2 and a half years creating and implementing activities for residents. I fell in love with the elderly!
As part of my work at Sarah Chudnow, I created and implemented the Holocaust Survivors Seder, which won a national award for Jewish Programming from the AJAS (https://www.ajas.org/about-us/awards-winners/) in 2018 for Jewish Programming.
I now had a heightened awareness of the silver tsunami and wondered if our Jewish community was offering enough opportunities to encourage social engagement for our seniors to avoid loneliness and isolation, that is so prevalent today.
When I met Deb Slater and Lori Kornblum, they too, had concerns that since there are so many seniors in the north shore, and we are all living longer, perhaps we should do some research on this subject. We did that, and now find it necessary to fill the void to address the social needs of our Jewish elderly community. We see a need to lay the groundwork, to encourage independence through social programs to enrich our quality of life.
Hence, L’Chaim Chaverut Clubhouse Northshore!
Vice-chair and Treasurer
I’m a long-time Milwaukee resident. I practiced law with the firm, Weiss, Berzowski, Brady LLP for 27 years. Since I retired, I have devoted a substantial amount of time to my elderly parents. My parents have lived in Milwaukee all their lives. With my assistance, they are basically healthy and independent. As they’ve aged, they’ve tried to take advantage of various Jewish programs throughout the city.
However, they often comment about the physical challenges that prevent them from using some of our communities’ facilities. Alternatively, they feel that there is not enough stimulating programming available to them. Through discussions about these issues, I connected with Judy Winnik and Lori Kornblum (who face similar issues with their parents) to create a program for people like them (and in the not too distant future, for people like me). Based on 4 focus groups we conducted, we think there’s a vibrant elderly community that would be drawn to our program’s concept, provided it’s accessible and offers quality programming. We believe L’Chaim Chaverut Northshore could be that program and we’re committed to giving it a try.
I am an attorney in the Northshore area, with my focus on Adult Guardianship, Child Abuse, Foster Care, Disability issues, and other issues. I I have a special interest in issues affecting older adults, and volunteer giving classes on the Law Behind the News to seniors. Through this affiliation, I met Judy and Deb.
We realized that a huge void exists in the Milwaukee Northshore Area for independent seniors who want high quality social experiences and programming, outside of the traditional Assisted Living channels. Together, we formed this organization. I also am an Adjunct Professor at Marquette University Law School and a full time Instructor in the Paralegal Department at Milwaukee Area Technical College. I am proud of my three adult children, one of whom has Autism. I teach a variety of legal subjects. Before joining MATC as a full time faculty member, I served as an Assistant District Attorney in Milwaukee County for 22 years. I have provided training for lawyers, doctors, police and social workers, locally, throughout the State and nationally, and have served on the Board of Directors of numerous non-profits. With my husband, Bruce Semon, M.D., Ph.D., I am a co-author of Feast Without Yeast(1999) and Extraordinary Foods for the Everyday Kitchen (2003)
Board Member-Volunteer Coordinator
Born in Sheboygan Wisconsin, I have lived in Milwaukee for more than 45 years. I graduated from Prairie State College with a degree in Dental Hygiene. After working 19 years as a hygienist and volunteering in my son’s elementary school, I found I enjoyed working with children. I eventually was hired by the district as a Para-Professional and spent 25 years in different classrooms with many diverse students. I retired 3 years ago and found myself in need of something to occupy my time. Along with substituting in an elementary school in my neighborhood, I continue to volunteer working with children in a program that brings Milwaukee students to locations after school to be tutored. I also recently became affiliated with the L’Chaim Chaverut Club House. I find working with seniors very gratifying. I believe this program fills a need in the Jewish community. The summer “Pilot” program that has been implemented has opened my eyes to the fact seniors are very viable and enjoy gathering with their peers in a community they feel comfortable.
I have been interested in service since a small child. I have taught in many places and in many miles for over 40 years. It is always my aim to do something for someone each and every day. The Clubhouse is a way to do service with the elderly in my community and I enjoy interacting with this population.
Jordy Atinsky became involved in community services at the young age of 7 years old and has continued throughout his life. He sold war bonds, enlisted in the Armed Forces and spent 16 months in Korea following the cease fire in July 1953. Committed to helping those less fortunate, Jordy pursued Rehabilitative Studies in school. He earned his Ph.D. in 1969. He started a Cooperative Skill training program for the severely disabled in five rehabilitation facilities in the greater Milwaukee area. In 1995, Jordy volunteered full time for almost two years to develop Vets Place Central, a facility for homeless veterans. He continued there in a part time capacity until he retired. He is a lifetime member of the Jewish War Veterans, and Adjutant of J.W.V. Department of Wisconsin. Ever the active volunteer, Jordy was an honorary member of Women’s American ORT for about 30 years until men were allowed to join. He then became a life member. He recently completed his presidency of the Milwaukee Chapter of PHNAI (Parents of North Americans in Israel). His daughter lives in Israel and his son lived there for several years before returning to the US. At Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid, Jordy was a Trustee on its Board of Directors. He has long been an active participant in the Congregation’s kitchen, helping with the Challah Bake and other kitchen activities. He has served on the Men’s Club board for several years. Jordy was married for 55 years to his wonderful wife Merry, who passed away recently. He loves spending time with his family.